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Wisconsin Employer Survey

The Wisconsin Employer Survey is conducted twice a year by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) — the combined state chamber and manufacturers association. The assessment provides a snapshot of where Wisconsin’s employers stand on a number of important issues and outlines their economic outlook for both Wisconsin and the United States. For the Summer 2024 edition, WMC surveyed 180 employers that make up a representative sample of its membership. Businesses of all sizes, industries and geographic locations in Wisconsin participated.

Wisconsin employer survey graphic


A new survey of Wisconsin businesses previewed a slow economic start to 2024, as only one-fifth of employers have a positive view of the state’s economy. According to the Wisconsin Employer Survey, 22 percent of businesses rank the Wisconsin economy as strong, which is a significant drop from 39 percent just six months ago and a steady decline from 58 percent in the Summer 2021 survey.


The latest Wisconsin Employer Survey found that hiring continues to slow. Only 46 percent of employers plan to increase their employee count in the next six months – a drop from 60 percent a year ago and 68 percent in the Winter 2022 survey. Additionally, while wages are still going up, it is expected to be at a slower rate than before.

Seventy-two percent of respondents said they are still struggling to find workers.


A new survey of Wisconsin businesses paints an unflattering picture of the education system in the state. According to the latest Wisconsin Employer Survey, nearly three-quarters of businesses think students graduating from the public K-12 system are not prepared for the workforce. Making matters worse, 56 percent of respondents said they have employees who struggle with the ability to read or do math. The unsettling new information sadly reflects the fact that more than 60 percent of students cannot read or do math at grade level in Wisconsin.

State Policy

Wisconsin employers continue to struggle with higher costs thanks to historic inflation and a workforce shortage that continues to drive up labor costs. When asked in the Summer 2023 Wisconsin Employer Survey what state government could do to help, businesses strongly recommended policies that would reduce the tax burden, make health care more affordable and rein in burdensome regulations.